The COVID-19 pandemic of the last two years has affected the lives of many individuals, especially the most vulnerable and at-risk population groups, e.g., older adults. While social distancing and isolation are shown to be effective at decreasing the transmission of the virus, these actions have also increased loneliness and social isolation. To combat social distancing from family and friends, older adults have turned to technology for help. In the health sector, these individuals also had a variety of options that strengthened eHealth care services. This study analyzed the technologies used during the COVID-19 pandemic by a group of older people, as well as explored their expectations of use after the pandemic period. Qualitative and ethnographic interviews were conducted with 10 Portuguese older adults, and data were collected over a period of seven months between 2020 and 2021. The research demonstrated that the use of current and new technologies in the post-pandemic future is likely to be related to overcoming: (i) insecurity regarding privacy issues; (ii) difficulties in using technologies due to the level of use of digital technology; and (iii) the human distancing and impersonal consequences of using these technologies.
To read the full text: click here!